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School Food Trust welcomes plans to extend free school dinners

10 December 2009
School Food Trust welcomes plans to extend free school dinners

Education health body the School Food Trust has welcomed the plans to extend eligibility among children for free school meals, announced in yesterday's Pre-Budget Report.

The plans will mean that there is at least one universal free school meals pilot in each English region, and that the general qualifying criteria for working families will be amended.

Judy Hargadon, the trust's chief executive, said: "Free school meals ensure that thousands of children receive a nutritious hot meal every day, and we strongly support any move to increase the number of families who can benefit. We're working very closely with the Government's existing pilots and we are delighted to hear that this work will be extended so that all English regions have at least one pilot.

"We know that what children eat within school makes a real difference to their health, well being and ultimately performance and we hope as many families as possible will take up this opportunity.

"Alongside this, the challenge for us all is to continue making more families aware of their entitlement to free school meals so that they can start claiming what's theirs as quickly as possible."

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By Rosie Birkett

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